Busy. Everyone wants to be seen as busy. Our culture promotes the idea that a busy lifestyle means you’re worth something. It means you’re actually doing something, contributing to society in some way. Whether it’s taking crazy course loads or working overtime at your job, being busy means you’re being productive. In other words, you’re not just sitting around.
It makes us feel good to utter the words, “I’m so busy,” does it not? We tend to compare our lives to others, seeing who’s schedule is more demanding, and subtly declaring a “winner” based upon that alone.
I have always supported this hectic lifestyle. Getting involved in as many things as possible, pushing my limits each day, and challenging myself to still be better than everyone else who are doing similar things. Yes, I’m a bit of a competitor. I love the rush that comes with being busy and feeling as though I’m in demand. But at what cost?
I’m a senior this year (yayy!). I’m involved in just as many things as I have been these past years but for some reason I don’t feel as stressed. I actually have some solid free time! I know, crazy right? Funny thing is, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Is it okay to simply kick back and relax? Shouldn’t I be looking for something to do or getting ahead on homework? I was creating stress from my thoughts of what I could be doing, not even what I had to do.
I’ve made the decision to cave. To appreciate my free time and be okay with doing nothing. Eat Pray Love, one of my favorite books, holds a memorable and applicable quote, “The sweetness of doing nothing,” as they say in Italy.
It’s a refreshing thought. How doing nothing can be absolutely beautiful. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t make something of yourself, probably because I disagree with a lazy lifestyle. But why does relaxing have to be seen as a bad thing? Why can’t we enjoy the moments we get to take a breather, and better yet enjoy them with people we love.
I know I’m excited to embrace this new mindset as I take on my last year of college. It doesn’t feel natural, at least not yet, but I want it to. So here’s to coffee dates, pointless walks in the city, and afternoons reading books for pleasure.
If you really think about it, we’d all be a bit happier if we took this time for ourselves. We may feel obligated to constantly stay busy but maybe it doesn’t always have to be that way.
XOXO – Autumn